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Jamie Bennett was hired as the Inaugural Manager for the Schaumburg Boomers franchise in October 2011.
The man who promised a team the Village of Schaumburg and the Northwest Suburbs could be proud of at the team's unveiling event in October 2011 has been a man of his word … twice! The 2013 Boomers captured the first-ever professional baseball championship in Schaumburg’s history and then followed suit in 2014.
The 2013 Frontier League Manager of the Year, Bennett piloted the Boomers to the best record in the regular season (59-37), and Schaumburg became the first Frontier League team ever to sweep their way to a Championship with a 6-0 record in the playoffs. Bennett’s 2014 championship team achieved a 61-35 regular season record. In three seasons as a professional manager, the Tennessee native owns a 214-170 record, which is good for an impressive .557 winning percentage.
During the Boomers Inaugural Season, Bennett led the Boomers to a 54-42 regular season record. After taking a team built completely from scratch to first-place for 50 days in the summer of 2012, Bennett and the Boomers were left on the outside looking in at the Frontier League playoff picture after falling a game short of the fourth and final spot in the 14-team league.
Bennett began his coaching career in 2006 with Boomers Owner/CEO Pat Salvi’s first minor league baseball team, the Gary SouthShore RailCats, which now play in the Independent American Association. After retiring as a player following the 2005 season, Bennett took over as Pitching Coach for the RailCats 35 games into the season with the club sporting a 5.63 ERA. Over the final 62 games of the season – after Bennett’s arrival – the pitching staff boasted a 3.45 ERA and helped carry the RailCats in the postseason.
Under Bennett’s watch, his pitching staffs twice posted an ERA under 4.00 and RailCats hurlers won the league's Pitcher of the Year award in 2007 and 2008. Since 2006, five different RailCats pitchers earned a spot on an All-Star Team and a pair has been named to Baseball America's All-Independent Teams. In addition, four of Bennett's former charges - Willie Glen, Chad Blackwell, Kris Regas and Edwin Walker - were signed by Major League organizations. The 2007 RailCats led the Northern League in ERA at 3.84 in Bennett’s second full season as pitching coach. Bennett also served as an assistant coach at Division II baseball powerhouse University of South Carolina at Aiken during his playing career.
Originally selected in the 22nd round of the 2000 major league entry draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, Bennett pitched two seasons for the Batavia Muckdogs, the Single-A affiliate of the Phillies in the New York-Pennsylvania League. In 2002, Bennett joined the Independent ranks with the Frontier League’s Dubois County Dragons where he pitched for RailCats Manager and mentor Greg Tagert. Until taking over the reigns of the Boomers for the inaugural 2012 season, Bennett remained with the same manager throughout his independent playing and coaching career.
A veteran of 104 minor league games including 78 starts, Bennett had a career record of 37-18 and a career ERA of 3.89. The southpaw also racked up 379 strikeouts to just 138 walks in 513.2 innings as a professional. In his lone season pitching for the RailCats, Bennett earned a 10-5 record in 150 innings over 24 starts while striking out 68 and walking only 27. Bennett started and won Game Five of the 2005 Northern League Championship Series for the RailCats to secure the franchise’s first Championship.
Bennett played collegiately at the University of Tennessee and was an all-SEC pitcher for the Volunteers. In 149.2 innings which included 19 starts and six complete games during the 2000 season, the southpaw earned a 10-4 record to go along with a sparkling 2.71 ERA while striking out 111 and walking just 39.
Jamie spends his off-seasons in his native Tennessee with his wife Julie and his two sons, Ollie and Sully.